I sat in the chair across from my couch that Felix was laying on. His face was no longer tight with pain. He looked peaceful in his unconscious state. A soft navy blanket was draped over his body, covering his skin. I shifted in my chair as a low groan came from Felix. I watched him, setting my book to the side, in case he finally did wake up and was confused.
His hand came up to the side of his face, his fingers rubbed the side of his cheek, scratching against his few days worth of stubble, before he moved to rub his eyes. He let out another groan before he opened his eyes and looked around. His gaze landed on me.
“Hey,” His voice was dry, he cleared his throat. He spotted a glass of water on the coffee table beside him. He slowly sat up, the plush blanket that was covering his body slid down exposing his toned chest. He reached for the cup and took a long drink before setting it back down and swinging his legs off the couch.
“You almost died.” I said. “Why did you come here?” I shook my head.
“I didn’t have anywhere else to go.” He shrugged.
“There’s hospitals in this city. One of those would have been better than my house.” I folded my hands in my lap. “I almost killed you, if I didn’t have my friends here to heal your wounds, you would have died. There wouldn’t have been anything I could have done.” I leaned forward, my emotions rising as I thought more about the position he had put me in. “Why would you put me in a place like that? Coming here, instead of an actual doctor when you were on death’s door?”
“I was near here and I didn’t have a phone to call for help. I knew you would help me. I stumbled my way here, someone left the building as I was about to call up to you, so I made my way up. I’m sorry I put you in a shitty position, I didn’t know what else to do.” He ran his fingers through his hair.
“Well you’re a lucky son of a bitch that I had help.” I shook my head. “But I really did almost kill you.”
“How?” He frowned.
“You fell on me when I opened the door…” I trailed off, trying to collect my thoughts. “I don’t touch people, Felix. You startled me, sent me into a panic attack because I couldn’t get you off of me. I lost control, I could have killed you.” I looked down at the floor, uncomfortable at the thought of having another person’s death hanging over my head.
“Well thanks for not killing me then.” He gave a half assed smile. “But, I’m sorry for everything.” He finally took the time to glance down at his body. He noticed no wounds or bandages.
“Your help was a healer?”
“Yeah,” A voice from behind me answered.
Felix looked up, the frown on his face quickly turned into one of shock as he realized who was standing behind me.
“Long time, Felix.” Ryker moved into the living room and found a place in the armchair beside me.
“Yeah, it’s been a while.” He shifted uncomfortably. “Thanks, uh - thanks for saving my life.” He scratched the back of his head.
Ryker nodded, uncomfortable just as much as Felix.
“Mel should be back shortly, she left to get some food.” I told Ryker.
“Mel?” Felix said. “She’s here too?”
“Yeah, they were both here when you showed up. They were helping me with some files on White Valley.”
“White Valley, eh? Is that how you all met?” Felix asked.
“Mel and I ended up being cell mates. Mel’s previous cell mate always tried to fight her so they moved Mel to my cell.” I shrugged. “Probably one of the only good things that they did.”
“Then I obviously met Ryker once I graduated through Mel.”
We turned to look at the door as it swung open. Mel walked through holding a couple boxes of pizza.
“Hope everyone's hungry.” She said as she kicked the door shut and came to set the pizzas down on the coffee table, and dropped the small bag she was carrying on the ground. "You feeling better?” She asked Ryker as she plopped herself into his lap and kissed the side of his face. He nodded in response.
“How are you feeling, Felix?” She turned to look at him.
“My whole body feels like its been run over, a little tired, but other than that I feel pretty good.” He said as I reached to open the boxes of pizza.
“Good, I found a spare shirt for you. It’s in the bag there.” She nodded at the bag before she reached across and grabbed a slice. Felix smiled his thanks and dug into the food as well.
The conversation seemed to dwindle after that. The smell of fresh hot pizza was enough for us to all realize that our stomachs were empty and it seemed better to eat than force small talk.
We all sat around the table sorting through the scattered files. Most of the files stayed together when they had been tossed to the floor. It was the loose papers that we needed to sort through. Mel chatted happily as the rest of us sat in silence. I wasn’t sure how to feel with Felix here. He had dropped off the earth two weeks ago and showed up here covered in blood and dying. Ryker was quiet as usual, I think a part of him also wasn’t sure what to make of Felix. He hadn’t seen him in years and now after all this time he sees him with death sitting above his shoulder. Mel on the other hand, she seemed happy. Ready to jump back in, like it was old times and no time had passed. I could see that Felix was thankful for that, otherwise I felt that he would have been lost in his own thoughts, and maybe regrets.
“I think it might be a good idea to track down Sarah Dean.” Mel said as she organized another file. “Everything in her files here is really positive. I think she might be able to help us.”
“I think she will too.” Felix added. I turned to look at him. His skin tone was going back to normal. His cheeks were flushed, his lips were back to their rose pink shade. He looked like himself. “She worked mostly in my age group. She was always trying to help us. Advocated for us, even though no one would listen. She would step in if other employees would pit us against each other.”
“She doesn’t live far from here. I should be able to find her in the next couple days. Hopefully she’s willing to help.” I grabbed the three files from Mel as she passed them to me. “I’ll let you guys know if I get anything from her.”
“Do you mind if I go with you?” Felix asked. “I’ve occasionally kept up with her over the years, she might be more willing to share information if I’m there.”
“But you can’t keep up with your friends?” Ryker leaned back in the chair and watched Felix.
I snapped my head to look at him, a pursed my lips as I glared at him.
“Sure, you can come. It probably would really help having you there.” I jumped to respond to Felix’s question in hopes to avoid a chance for either of the men to say more.
“That’s perfect.” Mel said as she stood up from the table and gathered her jacket off the back of the chair. “We should head out, I have an early morning meeting tomorrow. Let us know how Sarah goes, and we will let you know if we learn anything new on our end.”
“Sure sounds good.” I stood up and walked them to the door. Felix followed, hovering behind me, unsure if his goodbye was welcome.
Mel leaned in and gave me a quick hug and stepped towards Felix. She wrapped his arms around him and whispered something low enough that I couldn’t hear. She stepped away from Felix, smiled at him before giving his arms a squeeze and walked back to the door.
“See you.” She linked her fingers through Ryker’s and dragged him out the door.
I turned back to look at Felix as I shut the door.
“I should probably get going too.” He shoved his hands in his pockets and stepped towards the door. I opened it back up for him and let him pass. He turned back and looked at me.
“Thanks again for everything.” He smiled at me, showing me his dimples in both cheeks. I smiled back.
“Of course.” I shrugged.
“Look, I… uh, was wondering if you’d like to grab some dinner with me tomorrow night?” He shifted his weight to his other leg, as he looked down.
I smiled at him, watching his demeanor change as his venerable side showed it’s face. I clutched the side of the door and leaned into it. My mind raced as I thought about what this could mean, how things may change and if it was something I could be okay doing.
Jesus, it’s just one dinner. I mentally slapped myself as my mind began to slip down a slippery slope.
“Sure.” I say before I have another moment to talk myself out of it. His eyes snap back to mine, slightly wider than normal as if he was surprised that I would agree.
“Great.” He removes one hand from his pocket and runs it through his auburn locks. “I’ll pick you up around six?”
I nod, giving a small smile before I step back from the door. “See you at six.” I give him one last smile before I shut the door and leaned against it.